[Ubuntu-PH] Filipinos join celebration of global Software Freedom Day (includes Ubuntu-Ph)

Jerome Gotangco jgotangco at gmail.com
Sun Aug 21 15:18:19 UTC 2005

Article located at:

Filipinos join celebration of global Software Freedom Day

First posted 06:12pm (Mla time) Aug 20, 2005
By Erwin Lemuel Oliva

THE PHILIPPINES will join more than 50 countries in the worldwide
celebration of Software Freedom Day on September 10, 2005.

Software Freedom Day is a global grassroots effort to promote public
awareness and use of free and open source software (FOSS), according
to its website -- softwarefreedomday.org.

Over 70 teams from different parts of the world joined last year's
celebration in a range of events at schools, universities and public

This year, FOSS communities are confident that their numbers have
increased, an important indicator for favorable public opinion on
computer software, local organizers said.

This global event is also considered a major political statement
against proprietary software whose licenses limit users to it.

While FOSS advocacy has been relatively successful in such countries
as Brazil, Vietnam, and Germany, the Filipino open source community
sees its counterpart work as daunting.

"The battlefront in the Philippines is more difficult," according to
Rick Bahague of the Computer Professionals Union.

The Computer Professionals Union has members from the Philippine Linux
Users Group (PLUG), Ubuntu Loco Team, and the University of the
Philippines Linux Users Group.

"Microsoft products are so popular that people, particularly school
graders, think that these are the only products that exist. We cannot
blame them. It's just that there should be serious and creative ways
to counter the aggressive marketing that super proprietary companies
do. The people deserve to know that they have various choices when it
comes to computer programs," Bahague said.

To be hosted by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta.
Mesa, Manila, the local Software Freedom Day celebration hopes to
target the Filipino youth, says Clair Ching, a member of PLUG.

Other than talks and free software demonstrations, the Philippine
celebration will also feature open source multimedia tools, office
desktop applications, Internet applications, database, and servers.

Enthusiasts will also have access to copies of popular Linux
distributions at minimal fees, the local organizers said.

"We promise this year's event attendees that they will enjoy
everything. Specifically, we target the youths to compose the bulk of
the participants. Future leaders [that] they are, the youth deserve to
learn new stuff as early as possible. Of course, everybody else is
welcome, like teachers, government, and non-government workers, and
kids," Ching said.

Organizers of the Software Freedom Day stressed that free and open
source software guarantees the user's freedom to use it as well as to
modify and redistribute copies of it at will.


Jerome G.

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